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"What Are They Really Doing?" An exploration of student learning activities in field placement

Despite the fact that social work students consistently identify their field placement as having the greatest impact on their learning, research on learning activities used during placement and the impact on practice competency and social work identity is limited. The data were gathered from social work students’ experiences during placement. The findings shows that the more regularly students engaged in learning activities with their social work supervisor, the more likely they were to report a sense of social work identity and feelings of practice competence. The regular use of learning activities varied widely between placements but there were also students who did not regularly have the opportunity to observe social work practice, have their practice observed, or to link social work theory and the Code of Ethics to their practice with their social work supervisor.

Smith, D., Cleak, H., and Vreugdenhil, A.
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Journal article - open access
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